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Summer 2010 Forum Meeting Notes

National Forum on Education Statistics
July 26-28, 2010
Bethesda, MD


Professional Development: Education Data Use to Impact Instruction

Education Data Use to Impact Instruction PDF File (6 MB)

Mickey Garrison (Education Enterprise Steering Committee, OR) led the Forum in an engaging professional development session on the use of data to impact instruction, drawing from experiences in her state as the Director of School Improvement and a leader of the Oregon DATA Project. Garrison's presentation, a mix of lecture and activities, was organized around four "essential questions":

  1. What are the key steps to designing a successful approach to data use?
  2. Which skills are critical for data users?
  3. Which practices support the development of these skills?
  4. Which components of a data system do practitioners find the most helpful?

On the first of these questions, Garrison stressed that it is essential to collect input from the field, test the project, and refine and revise your approach to teaching staff to effectively use data. Educators should be guided on how to use data and must use data frequently to inform their approach to educating students. Data use must become part of an education organization's culture. Garrison noted the common disparity between what people believe and what the data actually show. A sense of urgency can be created by presenting stakeholders with the real facts. Agencies should also operate on the premise that all students can succeed regardless of their background and challenges. Garrison argued for establishing and fostering a powerful "guiding coalition" to articulate and drive a shared vision for data use and educational improvement. An environment should be created in which schools and districts communicate effectively and collaborate to compare outcomes and devise the most effective strategies. An effective professional development program on data use should provide in-depth instruction including a strong focus on process tools for using, interpreting, and taking action based on substantive data. Additionally, agencies must hold people accountable in a consistent and meaningful way, while also remembering to celebrate successes often.

Next, Garrison addressed skills critical to effective data use. She began with the importance of having quality, timely, and secure data, which must be appreciated by all staff involved with the entry, collection and use of data. She pointed to the work that Kathy Gosa (Kansas State Department of Education) has done based on the Forum's publications on creating a "culture of data quality." Building on this foundation, agencies must then create and foster a "culture of inquiry." To this end, education organizations from schools up to the state and even federal levels should have data teams. Also, while the use of formative assessment is very beneficial, Garrison emphasized the need to look at "cause data" (i.e., the factors that contribute to student learning and performance) in addition to performance data and identify the practices that are (and are not) working. Garrison also led activities using guiding questions and a number of helpful process tools, including the Ishikawa diagram and triangulation.

To support the development of these skills, Garrison suggested that education agencies take a systemic approach, maintain momentum, be persistent in creating awareness about data, and build staff capacity to use the information. She also underlined the need to be explicit in training and provide clear examples of what model teaching and collaboration actually look like in practice. She reviewed a sample form used by data teams in Oregon to help provide structure for identifying problems, setting goals, and devising detailed action plans. Agencies should also ensure sustainability for professional development efforts by creating demand, providing incentives, monitoring participation, and providing feedback on the impact on both the education environment and individual student learning.

Garrison then discussed the data system components that practitioners have found to be most helpful. For example, data systems must compare data over time and capture growth targets. The data must also be disaggregated by subgroup and be available for cohort groups over time. Finally, it must track multiple data sets and meet the needs of various user groups. Garrison emphasized the need to be inclusive when developing data systems, providing training, and designing dashboards for key stakeholders so that they will have easy access to the data they need for decisionmaking.

In closing, Garrison asked all participants to identify a "next step" lesson to take from the session and apply at home. Forum members exchanged plans with a partner and agreed to follow up on each other's progress.

Opening Session

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Welcome and Opening Comments MS PowerPoint (1 MB)
Forum Chair Linda Rocks (Bossier Parish Schools, LA) welcomed Forum members to the 2010 Summer Forum Meeting in Bethesda, Maryland. Linda introduced this year's Forum officers and welcomed twenty-three new members to the Forum:

  • Linda Atwood, Montana Office of Public Instruction
  • Sheri Ballman, Princeton City School District (OH)
  • John Brandt, Utah State Office of Education
  • Karolyn Bridges-Jordan, Mississippi Department of Education
  • Corey Chatis, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Cindy Helmers, Bloomington School District #87 (IL)
  • Lisa Howard, Tennessee Department of Education
  • Craig Hoyle, Regional Education Laboratory–Northeast & Islands
  • Sandy Hyslop, New Hampshire Department of Education
  • Candy Johnson, Kentucky Department of Education
  • Janice Johnson, Maryland State Department of Education
  • Marilyn King, Bozeman Public Schools (MT)
  • Douglas Levin, State Education Technology Directors Association
  • Judy Merriman, South Dakota Department of Education
  • Dorice Miller, North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
  • Tom Olson, South Carolina Department of Education
  • Marilyn Peterson, Nebraska Department of Education
  • Dave Ream, Pennsylvania Department of Education
  • Christina Tydeman, Hawaii Department of Education
  • Ken Wagner, New York State Education Department
  • Gary West, South Carolina Department of Education
  • David Wu, Hawaii Department of Education
  • Scott Zellmer, Weber School District (UT)

Linda then reviewed the Forum's mission and announced the release of two new Forum products –Traveling Through Time: The Forum Guide to Longitudinal Data Systems, Book I: What is an LDS? and The Forum Guide to Data Ethics Online Course. Next, she reviewed the meeting agenda and reported that Forum website traffic continues to grow with an average of 7,752 visits per month since June 2007. This upward trend seems to show a pattern of peaks in the fall and spring of each year. Linda noted a spike in hits around April 2010, reaching nearly 14,000 hits. During this same period, Forum publications were downloaded as PDFs or were visited on their home pages over 6,648 times per month. On this encouraging note, Linda introduced the Forum's Vice-Chair, Kathy Gosa (Kansas State Department of Education) to speak about her experiences using and disseminating Forum products.

Using Forum Products to Establish a Solid SLDS Framework MS PowerPoint (1.8 MB)

In her state of Kansas, Forum Vice Chair Kathy Gosa has made extensive use of Forum products to help inform a range of initiatives from system development, to policy development, communication, and training. Kathy spoke with the Forum not only to share her experiences, but also to help other members in their own efforts to make better use of Forum products.

In 2005, Kansas developed the Kansas Individual Data on Students (KIDS), a student-level data collection system. The advisory group tasked with establishing code sets and business rules for KIDS used two Forum products to inform this work: Accounting for Every Student: A Taxonomy for Standard Student Exit Codes provided valuable, detailed information on exit codes; and the Forum Guide to Education Indicators served as an excellent source of key indicators and provided helpful discussions of the policy implications. The state also found the Forum Guide to Protecting the Privacy of Student Information to be very informative in the development of policies to ensure that KIDS effectively protected student privacy. Kathy noted that the Forum's Education Privacy Working Group is currently working to update this product based on recent and forthcoming ED guidance on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In 2008, the Kansas state legislature became interested in virtual education. The Forum Guide to Elementary/Secondary Virtual Education became a very useful resource as the state worked to understand virtual education programs, policy implications, and how the data elements in the KIDS collection pertained to virtual education.

In 2006, Kansas initiated its Data Quality Curriculum (DQC) to provide free, high quality professional development to school and district staff responsible for entering data into local student information systems and for submitting data files to KIDS. This program draws heavily from both the Forum Guide to Building a Culture of Data Quality and the Forum Curriculum for Improving Education Data, and has recently been expanded to include a section on data ethics, which was informed by the Forum Guide to Data Ethics. Kansas's DQC program has served as a model for a number of other states.

In 2009, the state implemented the Kansas Course Codes (KCC) system, which includes standard course codes for all elementary, middle, and high school courses. Kathy said that the process of developing and implementing KCC went remarkably smoothly and quickly in large part because the state was able to draw heavily from the Secondary School Course Classification System: School Codes for the Exchange of Data (SCED), which served as the basis for KCC.

Beginning with the 2009-10 school year, Kansas began collecting and reporting race and ethnicity data based on the revised federal categories. Kathy and her colleagues found Managing an Identity Crisis: Forum Guide to Implementing New Federal Race and Ethnicity Categories to be an extremely timely and helpful resource as they prepared for this change ‒ developing their own process and training SEA and LEA staff how to comply with the new requirements.

Next, Kathy reviewed the status of upcoming Forum products and discussed methods for using and promoting these products (see PPT). In closing, Kathy restated her case on why Forum products are such valuable resources: they are practical, accessible, comprehensive, reliable, easily understandable, informed by a range of perspectives, and available at no cost.

Joint Session: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Education Data Requirements

Tuesday July 27, 2010

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Education Data Requirements
MS PowerPoint (1 MB)
Judy Wurtzel, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development (ED), spoke to the Forum about education data requirements in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). To begin, Wurtzel discussed the Department's "comprehensive, cradle-to-career strategy" to ensure that all students become college- and career-ready. Measuring progress towards these goals requires better information at all levels of the education system regarding the progression of students from early childhood learning through K-12 and postsecondary education, and into the workforce. Data provide transparency, reveal which programs and strategies are effective, and help hold the government accountable to the American public. Timely, high quality data can also be used to help students and their parents know if they are on track to long-term success in college and the workforce.

Wurtzel reviewed the four core education assurances under ARRA, around which many of the Act's education programs are built, including the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF), Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grant Program, Teacher Incentive Fund, School Improvement Fund, and Race to the Top (RTTT) Fund. Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) will also rely on these four assurances. In fact, Wurtzel referred to ARRA as the "first installment towards ESEA reauthorization." One or more of these assurances also affect several other ED programs.

Most of the data required for ARRA and SFSF will continue to be collected beyond 2011 through EDFacts using both existing and new indicators. This fact, Wurtzel said, is a "testament to the stability of these requirements and the integration of these data uses across programs." The ARRA reporting requirements for financial data, on the other hand, are set by Congress and are required until all the funds have been spent and the project has been marked as complete. Funds must be committed to projects by September 30, 2011, but can be obligated until December 31, 2011.

For ESEA reauthorization, ED will continue to focus on the four assurances and collect data to measure whether students are on track and ready for college and careers when they graduate. ESEA will also continue its focus on accountability, but will rely on a range of high quality data as it shifts the balance away from punitive measures in favor of more positive reinforcement. The law will focus more on student growth over time and will also look at key human capital indicators to measure information such as teacher qualifications, teacher and leader effectiveness, and staff attendance. RTTT, said Wurtzel, is a new model to improve student achievement by supporting states in the delivery of more effective, valid, and instructionally useful assessments. In closing, Wurtzel said that ED hopes that states will use these data to inform improvement efforts and help school, district, and state personnel to better prepare students for college and the workforce.

Following the presentation, Wurtzel took questions from the audience. She explained that the Department is working to provide more flexibility in how states are permitted to spend federal funds. Wurtzel also said that academic standards should be designed with long-term college and career readiness in mind and that the Common Core State Standards Initiative represents a strong start toward this goal.

Joint Session: Safeguarding Student Privacy

Tuesday July 27, 2010

Safeguarding Student Privacy MS PowerPoint (895 KB)

Melanie Muenzer, Chief of Staff at the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development (ED), visited with the Forum to discuss the Department's new and forthcoming privacy initiatives.

The Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) will serve as a "one-stop-shop" for SEAs, LEAs, and the postsecondary community to get answers to privacy questions related to student databases. Led by NCES, PTAC is intended to simplify and expedite the process of providing answers to all questions about the privacy and confidentiality of student records. In addition to answering questions, or directing people to the office that can, PTAC will engage in outreach by providing technical assistance and offering training (and training materials) to keep staff informed on privacy issues, security rules, and related procedures. A series of technical briefs and non-regulatory guidance will also be released, providing guidance on various privacy issues including basic concepts, definitions, data stewardship, electronic data security, written agreements, and statistical methods for protecting data.

The Department will hire a new Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) to work on all privacy policies and programs. This senior adviser will oversee the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) and serve on the PTAC advisory board. He or she will also be responsible for ED's compliance with and advice on federal laws, regulations and policies related to information privacy; advising on privacy policy; advising ED offices about privacy, confidentiality, and data security requirements; and training ED employees and contractors on privacy issues.

The Department is currently soliciting suggestions on how to improve the Family Educational Rights Protection Act (FERPA) by clarifying the types of data sharing that are permissible, especially those data needed for compliance with ARRA and the America COMPETES Act. A notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) is due out in August 2010. FPCO will be placed under the guidance of the new CPO. Outside consultants will evaluate the office and identify ways to improve internal processes to increase efficiency. FPCO's FAQ will be revised and guidance will be issued regarding the disclosure of student information related to emergencies and disasters. A revised form will also be created and posted online to make it easier for students and parents to file complaints concerning potential privacy violations. The Director of FPCO is currently a vacant position and will not be filled until the CPO is hired.

Finally, in its efforts to open the process to the public, the Department has created a blog where interested parties can read and comment on a recent report on recommendations for improving data security and privacy protections. Full recommendations and public comments can be found online.

National Education Statistics Agenda Committee (NESAC) Meeting Summary

Monday, July 26, 2010

Afternoon Session
Welcome and Introductions
NESAC Vice Chair Pat Sullivan (Texas Education Agency) kicked off the NESAC meeting and welcomed members. NESAC Chair David Weinberger (Yonkers Public Schools, NY) was unable to join this summer's meeting.

Agenda Review
Acting NESAC Chair Pat Sullivan reviewed the NESAC agenda for the summer Forum meeting.

Winter Forum Overview
In March 2010, NESAC convened in Phoenix, AZ for the annual Winter Forum Meeting. Pat Sullivan reviewed the work accomplished by NESAC at the winter meeting, which included the discussion of many hot topics and lessons learned.

Data Governance: A Review of the Forum Guide to LDS
During the winter meeting, NESAC had a robust discussion and heard "lessons learned" in the area of data governance. It was brought to the attention of the committee that the Forum Guide to Longitudinal Data Systems includes a section dedicated to the issue. Corey Chatis, of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and formerly of Tennessee Department of Education, participated as a member of the LDS Task Force and contributed significantly to the development of the guide, and the data governance section in particular.

This summer, the Forum's Longitudinal Data Systems Task Force is pleased to release the first of four books, Traveling Through Time: The Forum Guide to Longitudinal Data Systems: What is an LDS?. Book three of the series, expected to be released in winter 2010, will include several chapters on data governance. Corey joined the committee to give an overview of the publication and lead a discussion around data governance.

Data governance is a both a process and a structure. Governance requires a shifting of responsibility — making program areas responsible for their own data — and managing information across program areas. The case for strong data governance is easy: sound process and structure lead to higher quality data. An effective data governance process and structure will:

  • establish clear ownership of each data element and collection—it must be clear who is responsible for what information and ensuring its accuracy;
  • reduce redundant efforts—if a student's achievement scores are needed to fulfill the requirements of two different program areas, those scores do not need to be collected twice;
  • increase communications and collaboration across the agency—leading to the reduction of redundancy; and
  • establish a clear set of business processes.

These changes will have a dramatic effect on the organization as a whole. The agency will move from a reactive approach to one that is much more proactive, minimizing recurring problems and giving the agency a much better understanding of the data they collect and how to use them to improve student achievement. Corey also stressed that gaining executive-level support is imperative to establishing successful data governance.

Members discussed how local education agencies often look to the state to establish a screening process for data requests. They commonly want to know, up front and for all program areas, what information the state wants in what format. Kansas has implemented a very rigorous policy that screens requests from program offices and ensures that redundancy is eliminated. The process requires data requesters to articulate a clear purpose for each collection.

Civil Rights Data Collection Update
Ross Santy and Rebecca Fitch (ED) updated the committee on the current status and future plans for the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC). The first data collection out of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) began in 1968. Since then, the CRDC has been issued every other year to a select number of districts throughout the country. In 2009, the survey underwent a major revision in order to reduce the burden on districts and capitalize on data already collected through the EDFacts system.

The 2009 CRDC survey was launched in the spring of 2010 in two parts. Part I was issued on March 29, 2010 and closed on June 11, 2010. Part II will open in October with the collection period running through December 2010. A website ( was launched prior to the first collection period and contains table layouts for both parts of the survey, reference materials, and frequently asked questions. The Department heard several concerns about problems with the collection of Part I. Those programming issues have been isolated and remedied for the release of Part II.

ED and OCR plan to release the next CRDC survey in 2011-12 as a universe collection, meaning it will collect from all districts as opposed to the small group of 7,000 districts sampled this year. The last universe collection was conducted in 2000. ED and OCR are certain this coming year's collection will go more smoothly and impose less burden because of improved technologies. Questions, comments, and concerns are always welcome at the CRDC website.

Professional Development Discussion: Education Data Use to Impact Instruction
On Monday morning, Forum members were offered a professional development session focusing on the use of data to impact instruction. The presenter, Oregon's Mickey Garrison (Education Enterprise Steering Committee), leads the effort to provide a statewide framework for data use. She joined the NESAC committee Monday afternoon to continue the discussion and answer any follow up questions.

The half-day session provided members with excellent tools and resources to build professional development programs in their own states and districts. Garrison shared that much of the groundwork for Oregon's DATA Project was completed without initial funding, although Oregon's SLDS grant now funds the effort. After four years, Oregon has seen a very positive change in the districts that participated in the pilot in terms of both teacher practices and student learning. The great success of these early adopters provides support for the program and is encouraging more districts to join.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Morning Session

Common Data Standards Initiative
At the summer 2009 Forum meeting, Forum members discussed the need for common data standards in light of current data system development efforts and the reality of a highly mobile student population. These conversations helped spur the Common Data Standards (CDS) Initiative, a collaborative project of federal, state, local, non-profit, and foundation partners. Nancy Smith (NCES) provided the committee with an update on the CDS work.

The fundamental idea behind the project is that there is a basic need for a core set of data standards (including definitions, code sets, and technical specifications) to allow for the easy transfer and comparability of data up and down the education system, as well as across district and state borders. To accomplish this task, the CDS Initiative on two parallel tasks that run concurrently:

  1. The Technical Working Group (TWG) is organized by NCES and includes participation of Forum members (representatives from six SEAs and four LEAs), ED staff, the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) Association, the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC), five higher education organizations, and national partners. The group, which will develop the standards, has organized several subgroups to focus on governance, postsecondary elements, technical specifications, and use case scenarios. Year one work currently is focused on the low hanging fruit of heavily used K-12 elements, and some transition elements including information commonly included on transcripts and high school feedback reports. Year two will tackle additional postsecondary elements. The TWG has released a draft of version 1.0 of the standards for public comment. The official first set of elements will be released in September 2010. Although the official comment period is over, the CDS team encourages continuous feedback via the website, This site also contains additional information and use case scenarios.
  2. The Adoption and Communications effort is jointly organized by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) with participation from the Data Quality Campaign (DQC), the SIF Association, and PESC. It is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This effort seeks to educate stakeholders—states, districts, K-12 schools, postsecondary organizations, and marketplace providers—about the standards developed by the TWG and encourage broad, voluntarily adoption and implementation.

Nancy also stressed a number of points about the Initiative: The CDS standards are NOT required; CDS is NOT another data collection; CDS is NOT a national database; and CDS is NOT a replacement for existing SIF and PESC standards or the NCES Handbooks.

Follow-Up Discussion: ARRA Education Data Requirements
On Tuesday morning, Judy Wurtzel (ED), presented to the full Forum on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), its impact on data elements and systems, and the Department's priorities for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization. To follow up on this conversation, Ross Santy (ED) visited the three standing committees for discussion and Q&A. The driving factor behind the Administration's priorities and policies is the President's goal for the U.S. to once again produce the most college graduates in the world. To reach this goal by 2020, the Department is seeking to create a more cohesive, transparent, and inclusive P-20 environment across the country ‒ transcending the current divisions between early childhood, PK-12, and postsecondary education ‒ in order to improve our understanding of the full progression of student learning. ARRA funds are aimed at helping states and districts establish the infrastructure to allow for greater transparency, accountability, and collaboration. These and other reform efforts and goals are illustrated in the Department's
Blueprint for ESEA Reauthorization.

Quarterly reporting on how ARRA funds are being spent will continue through September 30, 2011. At that point, the requirement for these data collections will expire unless a new law is enacted to extend the collection. However, the policy-related metrics currently collected under ARRA will likely continue as part of EDFacts. ED is striving for stability and is attempting to meet these requirements while making as few changes to the EDFacts collection as possible. EDFacts currently does not collect all of the data needed to meet the requirements for the 34 ARRA descriptors, but ED will also look to other federal collections such as the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to obtain the needed data. Documentation on pending data collections can be viewed at (click "Browse Pending Collections," choose collection 04232, and then download the attachments). Ross discussed attachments B-6 and B-7, which focus on the data requirements of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund and the School Improvement Grants, respectively. These documents provide a systematic look at the indicators collected for these ARRA purposes and compare them to current EDFacts requirements. Wherever possible, currently collected EDFacts elements will be used to meet the ARRA requirements, although some additional calculations and indicators will likely be added. The Phase II application included every descriptor and indicator. The 30-day comment period for the three-year collection clearance package for EDFacts is closed and pending final OMB approval.

Crime, Violence, and Discipline Working Group Update
Bill Smith (Sioux Falls School District, SD) presented a brief update of the Crime, Violence, and Discipline Working Group. This group was tasked with revisiting the Forum's Safety in Numbers publication first published in 2002. The working group has responded to suggestions in a crosswalk of data definitions compiled by ED program offices as part of an internal data governance exercise. The working group expects to have a draft of the updated document ready for ED review in August 2010 and Forum review in September 2010. Publication of the final product is expected later in the fall of 2010.

Effective Longitudinal Reports
Jan Petro (Colorado Department of Education) presented the Colorado Growth Model as an example of how education agencies can effectively communicate longitudinal data to multiple stakeholders. The Colorado Department of Education has been working on this initiative since 2007 when they formed a technical advisory panel and made recommendations on how to ascertain growth. In 2008, the growth model was officially implemented. In 2009, the website, SchoolView, was launched to enable public access to growth data on schools and districts. Deeper drill down functionality is available to authorized teachers, administrators, and other staff.

Teacher-Student Data Link
With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) and the Center for Education Leadership and Technology (CELT) have launched a project to explore the teacher-student data link. This project is a cross-state, collaborative effort involving Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and Ohio to leverage their experiences, knowledge, and resources. Baron Rodriguez, (DQC) and Nancy Wilson (CELT) visited with the committee to provide an overview and update on the project. The three main goals of the project are to:

  1. create a best practices framework for teacher of record (TOR);
  2. determine business practices for the linkage; and
  3. conduct pilot testing the recommendations.

TOR is NOT defined by one single definition across states. Rather, the term is defined, or is in the process of being defined, at the state level. Each state has to define its own protocol for consistently determining the TOR is for each student in each course.

Currently, according to the DQC annual survey, 24 states report having the ability to match students and teachers. This year, the survey will be expanded to dig deeper into DQC's essential element #5 ("statewide teacher identifier with a teacher-student match"), by asking supplemental questions. The DQC hopes that states will use the survey and its results to guide conversations and considerations in the development of their systems. As this linkage becomes mandatory, and the usage of these data becomes more critical and high profile, the need for quality and accuracy will become imperative. The DQC website contains a library of helpful resources on the subject.

Louisiana has been participating in this work. As the LEA representative, Linda Rocks (Bossier Parish School, LA) shared her perspective. Louisiana has had the necessary data (defined in LA as three key components) for several years. These data have historically been collected for other reasons and were not intended for matching students to teachers and high stakes applications, but their availability was recently leveraged for this work, which gave the state a head start on the task but has led to several issues with data quality. It has been determined that detailed guidance and strong governance are needed to improve data quality. Other states should learn from Louisiana's experiences.

Florida has also been an early adopter and active in this work. Lavan Dukes (Florida Department of Education) provided his perspective on the work. The system in Florida was built in the mid-1980s with the assumption that teachers and students would be linked—the course numbering system has been embedded and mandatory. However, until recently, the data have mostly been used to monitor class size and teacher loads. Florida is planning on redesigning its K-12 system to better support the linkage of these data for high stakes analysis.

NESAC Election
Linda Rocks (Bossier Parrish Schools, LA) nominated Cheryl McMurtrey (Mountain Home School District 193, ID) as NESAC's Vice Chair. The motion was seconded and Cheryl was unanimously elected. Patti High (Oklahoma Department of Education) nominated Pat Sullivan (Texas Education Agency) for the position of Chair. The motion was seconded and Pat was unanimously elected as the NESAC Chair for 2010-11.

Afternoon Session

Linking Student Growth to Teacher Effectiveness
Rolf Blank (CCSSO) and Nancy Wilson (CELT) led a discussion on growth models and the links between teacher effectiveness and student growth. They focused on the data elements and systems that need to be in place in order to conduct the analyses envisioned by policy leaders. Blank shared a recently drafted paper that provides a "state of the states" review of growth modeling and gives a brief description of the differences across common growth models, value-added models, and status models. ED has placed a high priority on teacher evaluation based on student growth, making it even more important that these systems produce high quality data.

Several states have begun to explore linking teachers and student growth. Delaware's Performance Appraisal System links 20 percent of a student's achievement to teacher effectiveness, and 25 percent to administrators. Non-core teachers are rated on a percentage of the overall school's achievement level. Colorado will be implementing a teacher evaluation that is based 50 percent on student achievement over the next four years. In New York state, the measure of teacher effectiveness includes state test scores (20 percent) and local test scores (20 percent). This month, the District of Columbia approved a new evaluation system, called IMPACT, which will be one of the most detailed systems in use. Its guidebooks for evaluation are available online.

SEA/LEA Breakout: Student Growth to Teacher Effectiveness
NESAC members broke into SEA and LEA groups to further discuss the issue of growth and teacher effectiveness. The small groups had a list of questions to guide their conversations, including:

  • Does your state assessment system have a growth component that allows the SEA and/or LEA to calculate a student's progress over time?
  • What data variables are associated with the growth model (e.g., content areas, grade levels, pre- and post-tests, etc.)?
  • How are teachers linked to student outcomes in the student information system?
  • How do you define the teacher of record (TOR)?
  • How is teacher effectiveness calculated in the SEA/LEA teacher performance appraisal plan?
  • How are educators in non-tested areas (e.g., music teachers, guidance counselors, etc.) included in the growth model? How are administrators included?
  • What challenges and/or solutions have you had with the growth model and teacher effectiveness?

The breakout conversations focused mostly on challenges and possible solutions. The majority of SEAs and LEAs are still in the process of developing these systems and defining a TOR, which must accommodate many unique situations (e.g., when multiple teachers interact with a student; non-tested subjects; non-tested schools; scheduling differences). At all levels, finding the resources to complete this work remains a significant challenge. SEAs and LEAs are facing challenges one step at a time and are looking for lessons learned from pioneer states.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Morning Session

Discussion on Using Forum Documents
Acting Chair Pat Sullivan led a discussion to follow up on Monday's Opening Session about using Forum products. Members reported that they find Forum products to be relevant, useful, and of very high quality. Products that address pressing issues, such as Managing an Identity Crisis: the Forum's Guide to Implementing New Federal Race and Ethnicity Categories and the SCED code implementation, are the most popular and provide incredible utility. Members reported that they have used a number of the publications and have shared them with their colleagues via meetings, listservs, and newsletter announcements. The members identified a number of avenues for additional outreach including conference booths, online versions of the publications, online courses, publication announcements in online and print materials, integration into professional development programs, and increased outreach to relevant associations.

Topics from the Floor
Pat Sullivan opened the floor for discussion of members' issues of concern.

  • NCES Country Codes are often used to track students' country of origin. The codes being used in some states from the NCES Handbooks are conflicting with the codes requested by the MSIX collection. Members are looking to the CDS Initiative to clear up these kinds of issues.
  • The Massachusetts School Nurse Association has been lobbying the state legislature to insert language into state law requiring an analysis of student dismissal rates (i.e., for any reasons including fighting, illness, injury, etc.). The aim would be to determine the proportion of total dismissals that are a function of nurses. This information may help make the case for additional funding for school nurses and for school nursing programs.

FERPA Follow up
The committee engaged in a follow-up discussion on ED's plans around student privacy protection and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Members were encouraged to hear that new guidance is forthcoming and are hopeful that the hard work of the Forum and the Privacy Task Force will be leveraged in this guidance.

Meeting Review/Winter 2011 Planning
The committee began planning for the 2011 Winter Meeting. Members are interested in continuing the conversation around teacher evaluation and the student-teacher data link. Several LEAs, including Houston, TX and Hillsboro, FL, have been leading the way in this work. Committee members would be interested in hearing from a representative from either district. The members would also like to hear from the author of a recent National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) report on the error rates involved in linking teacher and student data

Policies, Programs and Implementation (PPI) Standing Committee Meeting Summary

Monday, July 26, 2010

Afternoon Session

Welcome and Introductions
PPI Chair Vince Meyer (Wyoming Department of Education) called the PPI committee to order and asked members to introduce themselves.

Agenda Review
Vince Meyer outlined the PPI agenda for the summer meeting.

Winter 2010 PPI Meeting Review
Vince Meyer reviewed the work PPI accomplished at the Winter 2010 Forum, noting that many of the topics would be addressed as updates at this summer meeting.

Professional Development Discussion: Education Data Use to Impact Instruction
Mickey Garrison (Education Enterprise Steering Committee, Oregon) and Doug Kosty (Oregon Department of Education) answered the committee members' questions regarding the Oregon DATA Project. Most questions surrounded the funding for the project and where the data used were collected and stored.           

PPI Discussion: How Do I Use/Share Forum Products in my SEA/LEA?
PPI members shared ways in which they have used and shared Forum products in their agencies. Their comments and suggestions included:

  • When Forum members are involved in Forum task forces and working groups, they are more likely to use and share the resulting products.
  • There are so many Forum publications now. Is there some place where the update schedule is (or can be) posted?
  • It is easy to add links on SEA or LEA websites to Forum publications.
  • It is easy to order copies of Forum publications for state or regional meetings from Ghedam.
  • Members can host video-conferences to announce new products to members (or WebEx trainings on new products).
  • One-page flyers for each publication are available and can be passed out at conferences.
  • Does the Forum have a cohesive marketing plan? (Note that the Communications Subcommittee has been re-established to develop a plan.)
  • How else (e.g., which listservs) can Forum publications be announced? For example, members can use their own agency's newsletters and listservs to announce Forum publications.
  • Can there be more trainings, etc. on the implementation of Forum products?
  • On-line courses would be useful.
  • Is it possible for the Forum to once again partner with other organizations to complete and release publications?
  • These publications provide great publicity for LEAs and SEAs working together with ED.
  • Can we create 30-second "commercials" for each publication?
  • Members can display one copy of each publication and then take "orders" for more copies from their colleagues.
  • Could we collect and disseminate testimonies about best practices found in Forum publications (e.g., quotes from members or other users)?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Morning Session

Follow-up Discussion: ARRA Education Data Requirements
Ross Santy (ED) visited with the committee to follow-up on the morning's Joint Session on ARRA Data Requirements with Judy Wurtzel (ED). See here for notes from this discussion.

Elementary/Middle School Course Classification Working Group Update
Helene Bettencourt (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) provided the update for the new Elementary/Middle School Course Classification Working Group. The group has completed its work and a draft document is currently going through NCES review. The product includes a broad overview as well as a detailed course system. PPI members should expect to see the final draft for official approval within the next few months.

Data Use Working Group Update
Kathy Gosa (Kansas State Department of Education) provided the update for the new Data Use Working Group, which will create a product about "using data for action." This group has met twice since the winter meeting. It will release its products as a series of briefs, the first for teachers, then school and LEA administrators, and finally SEA program directors. The first brief is scheduled to be completed in February 2011 with the final product expected by February 2012.

Education Privacy Working Group Update
Levette Williams (Georgia Department of Education) updated PPI on the work of the Education Privacy Working Group. The working group updated the Forum's student privacy document, Forum Guide to Protecting the Privacy of Student Information: State and Local Education Agencies. The task has been completed, but placed on hold in anticipation of the forthcoming FERPA regulations from ED. Work will resume when these regulations become final.

Common Data Standards Initiative MS PowerPoint (288 KB)

Nancy Smith (NCES) provided an update on the Common Data Standards (CDS) Initiative. The first version of the CDS elements will be released in September. PPI Chair Vince Meyer (Wyoming Department of Education) led a discussion on the possibility of a Forum letter of support for the CDS Initiative. This letter would state that Forum members are actively involved in the process. PPI members agreed to express support, but wanted to be clear that this support was for Forum representation in the process rather than for a list of elements or other projects sponsored by CDS Technical Working Group member organizations. Forum members also wanted to clarify the difference between the CDS Initiative and existing standards projects such as the NCES Handbooks, National Education Data Model (NEDM), Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF), and Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC).

Early Childhood Data Collaborative MS PowerPoint (2 MB)

Elizabeth Laird (Data Quality Campaign (DQC)) provided an update on the Early Childhood Data Collaborative (ECDC). The goals of the Collaborative are to support state policymakers as they develop and use coordinated state early care and education (ECE) data systems to improve program and workforce quality, increase program access, and ultimately improve child outcomes; provide tools and resources to encourage state policy change; and provide a national forum in support of the development and use of coordinated state ECE data systems. The DQC is basing this work on the same model they used for K-12: starting with the policy questions, identifying the building blocks necessary to answer the questions, and tracking state progress towards implementation. The DQC is going to complete a 50-state survey of state ECE data systems and hopes to have the results released by February 2011. A preliminary ECDC brochure PDF File (423 KB) was shared with the committee.

Afternoon Session

Common Core State Standards Initiative
Carrie Health (Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)) provided an update on the Common Core State Standards Initiative being undertaken by CCSSO and the National Governors Association (NGA). By April 2009, 48 states had signed an MOU and on June 2, the standards were released. Twenty-eight states have adopted the standards thus far, and by the end of 2010, CCSSO hopes this number will reach 40. Following the adoption phase, the conversation has now shifted to implementation. PPI members asked questions regarding what the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) will do in light of the standards, whether other subjects will be added, and what the relationship will be between the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the assessment consortiums.

PPI Elections
PPI members nominated Laurel Vorachek (Anchorage School District, AK) as their next Chair and Tom Howell (State of Michigan, Center for Educational Performance and Information) as the Vice Chair. Both nominations were seconded and approved unanimously.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Morning Session

FERPA Follow-up
PPI Chair Vince Meyer (Wyoming Department of Education) led a discussion of Tuesday afternoon's FERPA presentation from ED. PPI members discussed the overlap of the new ED work with the Forum's Privacy Working Group and were very pleased to hear about all the work ED is planning in this area.

EDFacts Update MS PowerPoint (123 KB)
Ross Santy (ED) gave an update on the EDFacts Program. Currently, the EDEN collection is in the final stages of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval process. Ross provided an update on file submissions. The focus for the next year is on making EDEN data public. As such, the EDFacts office is planning to share EDEN data through public data files and state-level data posted on the ED Data Express website.

Meeting Review/Winter 2011 Planning
PPI Vice Chair Laurel Vorachek (Anchorage School District, AK) led a discussion to plan for the Winter 2011 Meeting. Suggested topics included:

  • Student-teacher link
  • Challenges/advantages of statewide data systems (i.e., required use by LEAs) versus states where LEAs select and purchase their own data systems
  • Early Childhood Data Collaborative (ECDC) update from the DQC
  • Common Core State Standards Initiative
  • Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) universe collection: How SEAs can support or work collaboratively with LEAs through this collection process to reduce the duplication of reporting
  • Postsecondary conversations

Technology (TECH) Standing Committee Meeting Summary

Monday, July 26, 2010

Afternoon Session

Professional Development Discussion: Education Data Use to Impact Instruction
Mickey Garrison (Education Enterprise Steering Committee, OR) met with TECH to entertain follow up questions on the professional development session she facilitated on Monday morning. Discussion focused on a review of some of her techniques for identifying obstacles to effective data use, including "fishboning" and nominal grouping, as well as the use of the wagon wheel to triangulate data needs. Mickey noted that changes in data use were especially important now that many states are developing and enhancing data-driven frameworks for school improvement.

In Oregon, where Mickey works, LEAs and intermediate agencies were beginning to embrace this SLDS-funded work—98 of 192 LEAs were participating in her project and all Oregon education service districts were also on board. She was in the process of developing five "model" sites that would be distributed geographically throughout the state where others could visit, become motivated, and receive training. She is evaluating the Oregon DATA Project based on perceivable changes in efficacy (beliefs) and knowledge, as well as how readily barriers to implementation were being overcome.

Welcome, Introductions, Winter 2010 TECH Meeting Review
TECH Chair Patsy Eiland (Alabama Department of Education) welcomed everyone to the TECH meeting, led the group in introductions, and reviewed proceedings from TECH's meeting at the Winter 2010 Forum.

Summer 2010 Agenda Review
Patsy Eiland reviewed the agenda for our time together in TECH. Members suggested than we add an agenda item about the sustainability of SLDS.

TECH Election
Lee Rabbitt (Newport Public Schools, RI) was elected TECH Chair and Peter Tamayo (Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) was elected Vice Chair for 2010-11.

TECH Discussion: How Do I Use/Share Forum Products in my SEA/LEA?
TECH members exchanged ideas about how they use and share Forum products, as well as some of the obstacles to doing so in their agencies.

  • Sharing Forum products begins with making a commitment to help your professional colleagues handle their data responsibilities—which also helps the Forum disseminate its products.
  • The easiest approach to sharing Forum resources is simply to forward email announcements to everyone in your agency (or in you work address book).
  • Another easy approach is to copy Forum/NCES product summaries (and links) and send them to your state and local newsletters, which always are looking for ideas for articles. Recall that one-page descriptions of all Forum resources can be found here.
  • Ideally, Forum members will make presentations about Forum products at their state technology conferences. If this is not possible, members can place the one-page summaries in a highly visible location at state and local conferences/meetings.
  • Suggestions for the Forum to consider:
    • Slightly modify the product summaries into a "press release" format so that they can be forwarded to colleagues and newsletters without modification.
    • Submit summaries to professional education libraries (e.g., universities). For example, can we mass mail our publication summaries to all education libraries?
    • Emphasize that our products are available at no cost.
    • Educate Forum members about how to find, modify, and share our Publication PPT.
    • Identify where our website traffic comes from – who is visiting us – so that we can better customize our materials and messages to meet their needs.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Morning Session

National Education Data Model Update
Hugh Walkup (ED) and Beth Young (QIP) shared an update on the National Education Data Model (NEDM). Version 2 is now stable and housed here. The beta version is accessible at TECH members suggested that planners use the data model to identify and flag elements for which there is still more than one definition at ED. When asked about NEDM's relationship to the NCES Common Data Standards (CDS) Initiative, Hugh and Beth responded that NEDM is descriptive and comprehensive while CDS is more specific and limited in scope (i.e., NEDM is a universe tool whereas CDS has a focus on commonalities).

Task Force and Working Group Updates

  • Longitudinal Data Systems (LDS) Task Force – Chair Bruce Dacey reported that the first of a four-book series—Traveling Through Time: The Forum Guide to Longitudinal Data Systems, Book I: What is an LDS?—is now available online (print copies expected in September 2010). Book 2 is expected to be released in October. Forum members can then expect to see Book 3 and Book 4 prior to the Winter 2011 Forum meeting. Task force leaders are also hoping to produce an online course for the LDS series given the ever growing need to help SEAs and LEAs train staff quickly.
  • Section 508 Accessibility Working Group – Chair Lee Rabbitt reported that the Forum Guide to Ensuring Equal Access to Education Websites is nearly complete. TECH members can expect to see a review draft early this fall, with a publication release date expected by the close of 2010.

TECH SEA/LEA Breakout Discussion: Models for LEA-SEA Data Coordination
TECH members reported that their states and school districts use a wide range of models for collecting and reporting data. Several states had a single statewide system, and many are receiving raw data (push ups rather than pulls in most cases) about students, staff, classes, etc., from LEAs on a regular basis (e.g., quarterly, monthly, every 20 days). Some SEAs are receiving student transcripts as well.

Our SEA representatives said they want this type of information about other states—not just the what but how and who—so that they can identify points of contact for learning more about new technologies and approaches being used by their colleagues. They also want information about more than just student systems, including staff data, financial systems, etc. TECH members also want the Forum to continue to think broadly given that the demand for data exchange and transparency is increasing, as is the web technology for accomplishing these information needs. For example, more data are moving into classrooms for teacher use as well as teacher assessment. Similarly, learning management systems (LMS) will become even more critical as a source and user of data at the LEA level. As such, LEAs will need to implement data systems for broad user groups, which will require good planning, commitment, and professional development. The Forum should continue to be a leader in these efforts (e.g., with online courses).

Follow-up Discussion: ARRA Education Data Requirements
Ross Santy (ED) visited with the committee to follow-up on the morning's Joint Session on ARRA Data Requirements with Judy Wurtzel (ED). See here for notes from this discussion.

TECH Professional Development: Data Governance
Data Governance: The Kansas Approach MS PowerPoint (2.3 MB)
PK-12 Data Governance: A District Perspective MS PowerPoint (724 KB)
Kathy Gosa (Kansas State Department of Education) and Tom Purwin (Jersey City Public Schools, NJ) led a presentation and discussion from their respective SEA and LEA perspectives on data governance. The first and foremost point of the discussion was that all data in the organization must be subject to data governance principles and practices related to ownership, stewardship, security, quality, and lifecycle management. As such, the goal of data governance is to establish rules and standards for managing data in order to ensure that reporting and analysis access the most complete, accurate, and up-to-date data available. At the SEA level, Kansas has implemented an organizational structure to support these principles through the establishment of a data governance board, data steward workgroup, and a data request review board. Moreover, definitions, roles, responsibilities, and work processes are overseen by these groups. The benefits of these efforts are many, including providing a solid foundation for expanding data use in the agency, focusing on an agency-wide perspective on data, and facilitating regular communications regarding these important issues. In an LEA, a more streamlined data governance team may be appropriate. The team would likely be tasked with developing a data governance plan that the entire staff, including senior management, can buy into and support. Good governance plans include executive leadership, strategic perspective from the organization's data experts, and practical (tactical) steps for implementation throughout day-to-day business processes.

Afternoon Session

Common Data Standards Initiative
Nancy Smith (NCES) demonstrated the new Common Data Standards (CDS) website and explained the Initiative's ongoing efforts and progress. Interestingly, in addition to looking at data from a systems perspective, the CDS also has to address simple wording/language concerns. For example, "retention rate" has a very different meaning in K-12 than it does in higher education (as does "discipline"). Nancy thanked the Forum for its ongoing support of the CDS Initiative from its inception and asked that members continue to share their enthusiasm for this important work. She noted that several Forum members were also members of the CDS Technical Working Group and could, therefore, serve a role in keeping the rest of the Forum aware of CDS activities. As a result of this realization, TECH agreed after some discussion that it would be appropriate for the Forum to write a letter to ED that stated our position on (support of) the importance of CDS and its goals. Although the Forum hasn't yet seen the final CDS product, which is still under development, it supports the direction in which the effort is headed. The letter should also acknowledge the voluntary nature of the CDS and that it is not intended to supplant or otherwise replace the NCES Handbooks, SIF, or PESC.

Request to Join the Forum
The SERVE Center at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, which operates the IES-funded Southeast Regional Educational Laboratory (REL-SE), requested associate member status in the Forum. TECH members agreed that the regional labs belong in Forum discussions, but that SERVE is a vendor with a contract to operate the Lab (not the Lab itself). Patsy Eiland reported that the Steering Committee would prefer to confer associate member status to REL-SE rather than the vendor, and will ask SERVE to rewrite the letter from the Lab. This important point generated additional conversation about the growing presence of vendors at Forum meetings. TECH members asked Patsy to request that the Steering Committee establish clear rules for non-member participation in Forum activities given that our discussions sometimes reflect SEA and LEA plans for new systems and projects (i.e., RFPs) that should not be discussed in the presence of vendors.

EdFacts Update for 2010-11 through 2012-13
Ross Santy (ED) joined TECH to update members on the status of, and anticipated changes to, EDFacts. He reported that in 2008-09, 51 SEAs submitted their dropout data and 50 submitted their grad/completers by July. In 2009-10, 52 submitted all seven CCD files by July—demonstrating that the system is becoming more fully operational. EDFacts is also working to improve data use by improving profile documents for congressional districts and states. LEA profiles and ED Data Express are under development and other public use files, including CCD files, are now available. Finally, the Office of Civil Rights Civil Rights Data Collection will become a universe collection via EDFacts beginning in 2011-12.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Morning Session

LDS Sustainability (Added to the Agenda as a "Topic from the Floor")
Several TECH members raised the question of how states will be expected to maintain their newly developed longitudinal data systems in the years following federal grants. Will, for example, it be possible to increase the percentage in program funds allocated to administrative costs given the newly centralized management of data and reporting technologies (i.e., now that program offices are no longer maintaining stovepipe systems)? TECH members feel that this approach would be an appropriate way to support their LDSs, but unless there is a strong statement from ED about reallocating administrative costs, they worry that state program offices will not be willing to target program funds for data infrastructure. There was also a question about whether such a system would provide "incidental" benefits for other students. Currently, some states charge billable time for centralized data responsibilities to programs, but there is a tremendous administrative burden to this approach.

TECH asked whether ESEA reauthorization might address this issue and asked whether the Forum could write a letter to ED to inquire about federal guidance on integrating funding to reflect integrated data systems (or, at least, more flexibility in SEA allocation of program funds to centralized data responsibilities).

TECH Discussion: How Does Your Agency Collect Program Data?

Chair Patsy Eiland led a discussion about how TECH members deal with special program data (e.g., migrant education, early childhood education, special education, etc.) within the context of longitudinal data systems and other comprehensive improvements to more centrally managed state and local data systems. Many states collect these "miscellaneous" data through various types of "form builder" applications (e.g., Survey Monkey, Survey Gizmo, etc.). One problem with these stand-alone tools is that the data rarely match from one collection to the next. In an effort to address this, and to maintain a single authoritative data source, some agencies are building custom tables into their student information systems. With respect to reporting, many states simply create an appendix of all data that are not explicitly collected via EDEN/EDFacts. Because of ongoing concerns about the quality of these data, more states will be moving toward integrating these collections as best as they can within the parameters of their data systems.

TECH Discussion: Dealing with New Technologies
Chair Patsy Eiland led a discussion about how TECH members deal with new technologies that are arising in schools, especially social networking tools. For example, one SEA has blocked access to Facebook and YouTube even though several LEAs (and at least one chief state school officer) are trying to use them as teaching tools. Several TECH members mentioned that blocking access to these sites is not consistent with the communications needs of 21st century classrooms, including providing distance education services (although everyone is still in favor of blocking hate, violence, and pornography). In a system that doesn't filter content, access and usage then become an issue of discipline and our job as technologists is to educate users on responsible use.

Winter 2011 TECH Planning
Suggested topics for the Winter 2011 meeting included discussions about:

  • Teacher of Record (for teacher evaluation purposes) – Bethann Canada from the Virginia Department of Education volunteered to lead this discussion
  • Teacher-Student Linkages – we will ask Corey Chatis from the Gates Foundation to help with this discussion
  • School climate data – who is doing what on this front?
  • SLDS linkages to preK, higher education, and workforce

Meeting Feedback
TECH members continued to be pleased with the agenda items and discussion in our standing committee meeting, but had good suggestions for continuing to improve our time as a Forum and standing committee, including:

  • Name tents were appreciated
  • Could plugs for laptops be dropped into the center of the room/tables?
  • Free internet in the hotel rooms and meeting rooms was appreciated
  • One-half day professional development is great, but we should not go any longer

TECH Closing Thoughts
Chair Patsy Eiland thanked the TECH members for a cooperative, productive, and engaging year. Newly elected Chair for 2010-11, Lee Rabitt, thanked Patsy for her dedication and service to the Forum, and promised to do her best to continue the high quality work of the TECH Committee in the coming year.

Closing Session

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Overview and Agenda MS PowerPoint (879 KB)

NCES Update
Stuart Kerachsky, NCES Acting Commissioner, updated the Forum on his organization's recent and planned activities. He began by expressing NCES' appreciation for the work of the Forum and its members, noting that NCES relies on them heavily for information about activities in SEAs and LEAs.

  • The Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Grant Program recently awarded FY09 ARRA grants to 20 states, totaling $250 million. To date, 41 states and the District of Columbia have received grants. Recent awards have expanded the scope of the grants to address the 12 COMPETES elements and links to early childhood, postsecondary, and workforce. Technical Assistance under the program will be expanded over the next few years to include non-grantees, provide more site visits, and address topics in addition to infrastructure, including postsecondary data systems, linkages to other systems, data use, and research.
  • NCES is developing technical briefs on key privacy, confidentiality, and security issues, and is establishing a Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) to serve as a support center. PTAC will develop FAQs, define guiding principles, provide on-site assistance, and coordinate responses to privacy-related questions.
  • Four international assessments will be administered in the field to collect data in 2011:
  • The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study - Kindergarten Class of 2010-11 (ECLS-K:2011) begins national data collection in August 2010. Like the earlier ECLS studies, it will follow a nationally-representative sample of young children from kindergarten through fifth grade with data collections every academic year between now and the spring of 2016. It will be sufficiently similar to the first ECLS-K to enable cross cohort comparisons, but will include a number of additional features.
  • NCES is also field testing a redesign of the National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) to obtain information directly from households that is difficult to collect through NCES's school-based data collections. Several portions of the survey have been redesigned and NCES is moving from a telephone- to mail-based survey in order to improve response rates. A full collection is planned for 2012.
  • The Fast Response Survey System (FRSS) recently completed a 2009-2010 school- and teacher-level data collection on arts education in public schools. The resulting data will provide a status update on the condition of arts education since the last FRSS on the topic ten years ago. NCES anticipates releasing a report of national-level estimates by the summer of 2011. The FRSS will also begin two district-level data collections during the fall of 2010, focusing on: 1) the range of programs and services districts have in place for student dropout prevention; and 2) distance education opportunities that districts offer their elementary- and secondary-level students.
  • NCES recently released two reports focused on the education of American Indians and Native Alaskans. Part I of the study reports on mathematics and reading performance of these students at grades 4 and 8 on the 2009 NAEP. Part II describes the integration of Native American culture and community into educational experiences.
  • Later in 2010, the NAEP program will release several reports, one of which will focus on the reading and mathematics performance of 12th graders. NAEP assessments will take advantage of computer technology in the coming years, starting with the 2011 writing assessment at the national level. Computer-based assessment will extend to additional subjects and to state-level NAEP administration in future years.
  • The High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09) is a nationally-representative longitudinal study of 9th graders. These students will be followed via an online, computer-based survey through their secondary and postsecondary experiences to gauge their progress in algebra and decision-making about courses, college, early work, and careers.
  • The Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002) is based on a nationally representative, longitudinal cohort of high school sophomores who were initially interviewed in 2002, re-interviewed in 2004 when most were high school seniors, and again two years later when many of them had enrolled in one or more colleges. They will be interviewed again in 2012. When these third round of follow-up data are collected, ELS:2002 will provide a wealth of information about these young adults' transition from adolescence to adulthood, college access, work, and adult development over a period from high school to early adulthood.
  • The Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), the nation's largest survey of schools, districts, principals, teachers, and library media centers, took place in 2007-08. The next survey will occur in 2011-12. In July, data were released from the Principal Follow-up Survey, a new SASS component, and data from a Teacher Follow-up Survey will be released in August 2010. The Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Survey (BTLS), another addition to SASS, is following a sample of teachers who were first-year public school teachers in SASS. This survey will provide a wealth of information about the teachers' retention and career trajectories.
  • NCES continues to collect and report data on school crime through both a supplement to the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey and the School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS) to get information from the school's perspective. Both of these surveys are used extensively in the annual Indicators of School Crime and Safety report that is jointly published by NCES and BJS.
  • NCES's postsecondary group has been working on several activities including:
  • Launching a redesigned online data tool, PowerStats;
  • Initiating a joint NCES/National Center for Education Research (NCER) grant competition to enable researchers to obtain a sample from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study;
  • Completing the Postsecondary Education Transcript Study (PETS), in which transcripts for two nationally representative populations of college entrants and graduates were collected and coded. Data from the study will be released for public use in late 2010 through PowerStats, and for licensed use in early 2011;
  • Starting a large-scale study of student transfer and credit transfer, which will draw upon transcript data collected via PETS;
  • Initiating the redesign of the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS) and rebuilding its student interview to capture new data from study respondents; and
  • Leading an interagency review of federal data collection with respect to pre-baccalaureate education and training, and preparing a pilot study to evaluate possible related changes to the Current Population Study (CPS) and American Community Survey (ACS) data collections.

Standing Committee Progress Reports

Task Force/Working Group Progress Reports

Recognition of Completed Projects and Forum Officers
Ghedam Bairu presented plaques to the members of the Longitudinal Data Systems Task Force and the 2009-10 Forum officers to recognize their contributions to the Forum.

Forum Election
The following slate of officers was elected to lead the Forum in 2010-11:

Forum Chair:Kathy Gosa, Kansas State Department of Education
Forum Vice Chair:David Weinberger, Yonkers Public Schools (NY)
Past Chair:Linda Rocks, Bossier Parish Schools (LA)
NESAC Chair:Patricia Sullivan, Texas Education Agency
NESAC Vice Chair:Cheryl McMurtrey, Mountain Home School District 193 (ID)
PPI Chair:Laurel Vorachek, Anchorage School District (AK)
PPI Vice Chair:Tom Howell, State of Michigan, Center for Educational Performance and Information
TECH Chair:Lee Rabbitt, Newport Public Schools (RI)
TECH Vice Chair:Peter Tamayo, Washington State Office of Superintendent

Linda Rocks thanked the Forum for the opportunity to serve as Chair in 2009-10. Kathy Gosa, the Chair for 2010-11, said she looked forward to the coming year.

Meeting Evaluations
Forum members shared their opinions on the Summer 2010 Forum Meeting by completing evaluations.


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Publications of the National Forum on Education Statistics do not undergo the formal review required for products of the National Center for Education Statistics. The information and opinions published here are the product of the National Forum on Education Statistics and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the U.S. Department of Education or the National Center for Education Statistics.